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Catherine Zeta-Jones treated for bipolar disorder

April 13, 2011 |  3:19 pm

Catherine Zeta-Jones treated for Bipolar disorder
This post has been updated. See note below for details.

Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who has stood by husband Michael Douglas' side during his bout with throat cancer, has been treated for bipolar disorder, her publicist said Wednesday.

"After dealing with the stress of the past year, Catherine made the decision to check into a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her Bipolar II Disorder," her publicist said in a statement. "She's feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films."

Those who suffer from the medical illness, which had previously been named manic-depressive disorder, grapple with extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning. They can alternate between states of mania and depression.

The disorder affects 3% of the population and is the sixth most common cause of disability in the United States, according to Psychology Today. It is usually a lifelong illness that is carried through genetics. Distinctions are made between Bipolar I and Bipolar II. The former is characterized by severe manic states while the sufferers from the latter swing from severe depression to a milder and briefer manic state called hypomania.

The actress spent five days at the Silver Hill Hospital near New Canaan, Conn., last week, the Daily Mail reported. She is said to have been dropped off by her husband, who owns a home nearby.

"There's no question it's been a stressful year," a friend told People. "Catherine has had to deal with Michael's illness and that's been hard. She went in for a few days because she's about to start working, and wanted to make sure she's in top form, which she is."

The "Chicago" actress was extremely supportive of her husband while he battled throat cancer and is said to have turned down roles during that time. Last year, Douglas was embroiled in a legal battle with his ex-wife, Diandra Douglas, over profits from his "Wall Street" sequel. Diandra Douglas co-starred with him in the original film.

Zeta-Jones and Douglas married in 2000. They have two children, Dylan Michael Douglas and Carys Zeta Douglas. Cameron Douglas, the actor's oldest son with his ex-wife, was sentenced in April 2010 to five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of distributing crystal meth and possessing heroin. 

For the record, 11:05 a.m. April 14: This post originally said that Bipolar II is more severe than Bipolar I. Actually, each disease is characterized by different symptoms with Bipolar II resulting in severe depression with milder manic states. This post has been revised to reflect that.


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Michael Douglas nearly done with throat cancer treatment

-- Nardine Saad

Photo: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in January. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times